Social Media Tax: UCC Says VPNs Will be Blocked

Uganda Communications Commission Executive Director, Godfrey Mutabazi has said that telecommunication companies will slowly identify and block Virtual Private Networks (VPN) applications that are aiding Ugandans to evade paying the Social Media tax.

The social media tax took effect on July 1 at the start of the 2018/2019 financial year, where each user is required to pay a daily tax of Shs 200.

The tax has caused uproar among Ugandans. Some have paid the tax, while others have vowed to evade after installing VPN applications.

The VPN enables users to hide their IP addresses, hence being able to acces Social Media without paying the tax.

“If you’re saying that everybody is on VPN, there is no evidence. However the telecoms are saying they’re slowly they are cleaning up all those VPNs, they are closing some. You know there are so many of them. On a daily basis they are doing the blockage. You know you can’t be 100% but they are doing it,” Mutabazi said.

He added that VPNs use more data and therefore it is cheaper to pay the Shs 200 tax.

“It’s a government decision it’s not a UCC decision. People should pay tax. It’s a law, if the government says pay tax, you should pay,” he said.

Moses Kayigwa